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Hotel Tocely Sao Nicolau.

Mainly for fishermen and trekkers

The Hotel Tocwely in Tarrafal is basic and clean with some nioce views over the fishing harbour. Along the front is the Hotel Alice and in the main town of Ribiera Brava, closer to the airport is the Hotel Santa Antao. That is about it for Sao Nicolau. Tarrafal is where most people will end up, a couple of hours bumpy ride in a shared aluguer from the airport. It is one of the hottest spots in the Cape Verdes as the black mountains reflect the suns rays back onto the baklck beaches.

A fishing town, where you can buy sardines at less than 1p each or join the local fishing boats in search of swordfish, it has just a few bars, with drinks at a third of Santa Maria prices and some very simple restaurants. But this is the Cape Verdes in the pre-tourism era. And the local people, many of whom have relatives in the USA, are amongst the friendliest in the islands..

Only 30 minutes flight from Sal but there are only three flights a week. A ferry calls from Sao Vicente and Santiago but service is irregular. Yet it has some of the world`s best marlin fishing. A fishing boat can cost £600 for a week`s fishing but it can take four fishermen, so it is best to organise a party.

Boats set out soon after dawn most days in search of blue marlin, wahoo, swordfish and tuna. They catch many more than you would expect as these fishing grounds are still virgin. The Iseric is a powerful 30 ft boat in Florida style with twin Caterpilllar diesel engines, radar, GPS and all the best rods and gear,

The Hotel Tocely costs only £120 per person per week but it is extremely basic and you should not go there unless you are prepared for roughting it with perhaps cold water, hard beds and poor mattresses.

Hotel Alice Tarrafal

The Alice is run by an English-speaking Cape Verdean with family in New England. It is simple and basic but has a nice view over the bay and is kept clean. You may get American marmelade with your breakfast or cookies for tea as the family airfreights over lots of American goodies not found normally in Cape Verde.

Garden Hotel, Ribiera Brava

This is a simple,basic hotel with good views over the capital of Sao Nicolau. It is on the edge of Ribiera Brava, leaning against one of the many hills, which surround the town, It is only five minutes from the centre of Ribiera Brava and a short taxi ride from the harbour. It provides a good base for trekking through the island, which is the least touristy of the Windward islands, yet is reasonably accessible from Sal. . Meals can be taken on a small balcony with plastic chairs and tables.

Although the building apears to be a typical Cape Verdean shanty town, inaside it is clean and well cared for. The family which owns it will go to a l;ot of trouble to help with adivce on where to go walking. Meals are described as excellent by people who have stayed there.

Prices are very reasonable at just £240 per week for a double room.

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